Really, I am not a Purist…
No, Im not a fly purist….
It was recently observed that I am a purist.
Shocked and reeling from what years ago I thought was definitely an insult; I have been suffering with the weight of this accusation.
Back in the late 80’s to me a purist was a stuffy old man in tweed who insisted on every fly being a perfect imitation of a bug recently found while rummaging through the stomach contents of a recently caught brown on a dry. This analysis would certainly go hand in hand with high levels of OCD, a dash of superiority and most definitely huge volumes of essential talk about just how things should be done. Some time in the noughties I forgot about the term altogether…
Fast forward to today, and I have been seriously considering what this means and does it apply to me.
First lets just refresh with a quick linguistic brush up;
1.a person who insists on absolute adherence to traditional rules or structures, especially in language or style.
Perhaps at this point I need to qualify how this all came about. I will admit that, while stocking up the fly box earlier this season ( the Aussie Angler tables/ not my personal stash) I may have declared something like,
“Whats this foam abomination, Im not using this. I want the lovely old flies like spinners and beetles tied with raffia and peacock. I like grasshoppers with legs of feathers. I like my fly box to look like it came from nature”
Of course this declaration was met with a moment of silence and some bemusement. Rick boldly stated that he rather likes the catch rate on those big ugly flies and our conversational partner (who just happened to return from a jaunt to NZ with Rick) not only agreed with Rick, but was the accuser of this very topic!
So here I am writing about my deliberations and I must say, that after careful consideration and much debate with myself, I have decided that, due to my ability to happily adapt to the new trends and adopt new ideas that I am most definitely not a purist. What I am is a gal who likes furs and feather and a fly box that looks quite pretty.
I like blue stuff and stuff that sparkles. But I also really like flies that work well, so often this means that I use whats available and perhaps what has been working for others ( yes including foam).
I have thought about the notion of being a purist; I am simply too adaptable and readily try new stuff to be a purist, I will, however acknowledge that I do love a pretty fly box; I just happen to carry a box of uglies as well!
Having said all this, I will now boldly state that when it comes to those big foam flies for trout, I repeat-
“Whats this foam abomination, Im not using this. I want the lovely old flies like spinners and beetles tied with raffia. I like grasshoppers with legs of feathers. I like my fly box to look like it came from nature”